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A Piece of My Mind
September 4, 2002

Secondary Consult

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2002;288(9):1053-1054. doi:10.1001/jama.288.9.1053

Sometimes, when I am working with a patient, I think I see my father—not that the patient looks like my father or says something to remind me of him, but rather that my dad appears as another white-coated presence in the room, rattling his stethoscope, turning his ear to better hear the patient, or scratching his head in response to a curious physical finding or unusual symptom. Although in reality my father is thousands of miles away, sometimes there are moments when I am sure I see his face in the crowd of residents and attending physicians as my medical school classmates and I gather around a bedside or move room-to-room on rounds.